"I think cinema is a great place for secrets and intimacy." Its been quite a year. Looking back at 2012, I've been lucky enough to speak with legendary directors like Ridley Scott (for Prometheus) and Ang Lee (for Life of Pi), up-and-comers like Josh Trank (for Chronicle) and Rian Johnson (for Looper), interview esteemed actors like Michael Fassbender (for Prometheus) and Jason Clarke (for Zero Dark Thirty). Over the course of a year, we get to speak to many talented peopled in many places, in many different ways - over the phone, in person with a Flip cam, transcribed from audio, or even over Skype. I still consider it an honor every time we get to do an interview, and we wanted to recap all our interviews from this year below.
"She loves her characters." I'm lucky to have been able to interview some of my favorite actors from the big screen (and small screen). While he has been on the rise in a number of films recently, I came to be a big fan of Australian actor Jason Clarke watching the Fox show "The Chicago Code." It wrapped after one season, but since then he's been getting big feature roles, from John Hillcoat's Lawless and Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby, to Roland Emmerich's White House Down and two Malick films, plus of course Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty. I recently chatted with Jason on Flipcam about his challenging character, and career.
"I'm just an avid filmmaker." Now playing in 3D in theaters everywhere is one of my favorite films of the year, Life of Pi, directed by Oscar winning Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee. I gave the film a 9/10 in my review, and Jeremy went all out with 10/10, because it's really about the wonderful magic of cinema, and what filmmakers can do with the right storytelling tools, including even 3D. Ang Lee is a diverse filmmaker, of many acclaimed hits like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain, Lust Caution and even Hulk. I was lucky enough to be given a chance to sit down with Ang for 20 minutes in New York City a few weeks ago for a discussion on bringing the wondrous story Life of Pi to the big screen.
For as long as I can remember, I've been a Bond fan. I've boasted numerous times about my VHS/DVD/Blu collection of all 22 (soon 23) films and extensive history with the series. A few weeks ago, I was honored to sit down with the two masterminds behind the 50 year old franchise - producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Barbara is the daughter of the legendary Albert R. Broccoli, known as "Cubby", who is the father of the original Bond movies starting with Dr. No in 1962. I was excited to talk with them about Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes with Daniel Craig as 007, and the status of the Bond franchise. Dive in!
"To me, the true father of the Bond movies is Hitchcock." Bond is back, and better than ever. And the man responsible for bringing him back in one of the greatest Bond movies of the modern era is director Sam Mendes. The Oscar winning director's filmography includes American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road and Away We Go, but he finally takes the leap into action and intensity with 007. After seeing the film a few weeks ago in New York City, I had the chance to interview Mr. Mendes and discuss everything we could about Bond, James Bond and the 23rd 007 movie. "From one Bond fan to another..."
"I believe there is a another world waiting for us, Sixsmith. A better world. And I'll be waiting for you there." He plays five roles in the Wachowskis' and Tom Tykwer's Cloud Atlas (now in theaters), and also plays the brand new Q in the Sam Mendes Bond movie Skyfall. 32-year-old English actor Ben Whishaw has been on the rise recently with a number of impressive performances, following his break-out in Tom Tykwer's Perfume and Matthew Vaughn's Layer Cake. He's an incredibly talented, sleek, skinny actor that always adds many layers to his characters. I spoke on the phone with Ben a few weeks ago about both films.
When you look back at the history of video games being adapted into movies, the results aren't pretty. It's almost impossible to make a great video game film because of the inherent differences in the two mediums, but Wreck-It Ralph has finally bridged that gap by brilliantly mixing all new characters with game icons like Bowser, Sonic the Hedgehog, Q*bert, and many more. I recently had a chance to sit down with director Rich Moore to speak about securing all of those cameos, the movie's humor and thematic elements, the influence of The Wizard of Oz, the real story behind why Mario didn't make the final cut and plenty more.
Anyone who comes to love film certainly knows the name Steven Spielberg. The prolific director serves as an inspiration in that he was the youngest director to ever get a Hollywood contract, has been at the helm of countless classics and is the epitome of an innovative and brilliant American filmmaker. Recently, "60 Minutes" sat down with the director and talked about how his childhood family and school bullying influenced his interest in filmmaking (mostly out of a desire to be accepted) in addition to all the thematic elements that have become trademarks in nearly all of his films from Indiana Jones to War of the Worlds. It's a truly fascinating 14-minute interview that includes a new look at his Oscar contender Lincoln, too.
Time to dive in. If you still haven't seen Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film, The Master, it's playing in theaters everywhere right now, including a lot of 70mm shows still around. However, once you see it, you'll probably either be confused, confounded, bewildered, perplexed or just simply blown away. Reviews are decisive and discussions have been rampant about whether it's brilliant or a complete mess. The legendary filmmaker, known affectionately as PTA, is a notoriously hard man to meet, but he's been out doing a few interviews on TV. Thankfully SlashFilm has found two of them that are worth watching because PTA delves into topics about Scientology and the split reaction on the film and much more. Fire up both of them below!
If you're a fan of crazy violence, dark humor, and smart storytelling, Seven Psychopaths will scratch all of those itches when it comes out on October 12th this week. I had the chance to sit down with Oscar-winning writer/director Martin McDonagh (who was also the mastermind behind 2008's hit In Bruges, a fantastic film you should definitely seek out) to discuss his newest film, which stars Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and more. We talk about the differences between writing for the big screen and the stage, the city of Los Angeles as a character, balancing comedy with violence, and much more. Check it out!
"It's about the situation time travel sets up and how the characters deal with it." Now playing is one of the best films you'll see all year - Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as the same person from different times. The brilliant mind behind the film, both writer and director, is Rian Johnson, of Brick and The Brothers Bloom previously. Because I interviewed him earlier this year, this time talking about the film in-depth, I wanted to go all out, and cover the spoilers, cover all the pressing questions you might've had after seeing Looper. Hence the slight delay posting this, as we cover all the spoilers, and get in-depth about his decisions writing & directing, structuring time travel storylines, and much more. Enjoy!
"I am the law!" Ready to talk about Judge Dredd? Arriving in theaters this weekend is the gritty, badass new take on the 2000 AD comic book character, played by Karl Urban this time around. Dredd 3D is directed by Pete Travis, but the screenplay is credited to Alex Garland, well known in the sci-fi world as writer of the scripts 28 Days Later, Sunshine for Danny Boyle and Never Let Me Go. I first saw Dredd at Comic-Con (and loved it), but it also just premiered in Midnight Madness at TIFF, where I was given the chance to meet-up with Garland for a quick interview. He's one of my favorite writers and I jumped at the opportunity.
At Sundance in 2010 I was first introduced to Derek Cianfrance, an ambitious, brilliant filmmaker who I have become very fond of. At that time he was premiering his second film, Blue Valentine, which went on to earn a lot of acclaim - one of my favorites of the year. Two years later he is back with his third feature, The Place Beyond the Pines, which just premiered at TIFF 2012 last weekend. I caught the premiere and was mesmerized by the triptych film starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper. I was granted an interview with Mr. Cianfrance and we talked about everything from why he loves movies (naming Psycho) to the ideas and themes behind Pines, his inspiration from music and working with Mike Patton, and more.
There's very little doubt that Klown is one of, if not the, year's best comedy. There's even less doubt how perfect of a match the film is for Drafthouse Films, who picked up the Danish import for a limited US release. As part of the film's initial release last week, Drafthouse arranged a very special canoe trip through their Rolling Roadshow arm of cinematic events and brought writers and stars of the series and film, Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen along with. Two of Denmark's leading comedians, the pair are as energetic as they are hilarious, and each carry more than a little similarity to their on-screen personas.